Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To amuse oneself in a light, frolicsome manner.
  • transitive v. To amuse (oneself) in a light, frolicsome manner.
  • transitive v. To display.
  • n. Frolicsome diversion.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to amuse oneself divertingly or playfully; to cavort or gambol
  • v. to display ostentatiously
  • v. To remove from a port; to carry away.
  • n. A pastime; anything which diverts one from serious matters; a game; sport; relaxation, recreation; entertainment; amusement
  • n. Fun; gaiety; merriment; mirth; joy
  • n. Deportment; bearing; carriage.
  • n. orientation; elevation; bearing.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Play; sport; pastime; diversion; playfulness.
  • intransitive v. To play; to wanton; to move in gayety; to move lightly and without restraint; to amuse one's self.
  • transitive v. To divert or amuse; to make merry.
  • transitive v. To remove from a port; to carry away.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To carry away; transport; deport.
  • To divert; cheer; amuse sportively or gaily: usually with a reflexive pronoun.
  • To display in a gay or sportive manner; sport.
  • To play; sport; indulge in gaiety.
  • n. Diversion; amusement; play; sport; pastime; merriment.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. occupy in an agreeable, entertaining or pleasant fashion
  • v. play boisterously

Etymologies

Middle English disporten, from Old French desporter, to divert : des-, apart; see dis- + porter, to carry (from Latin portāre; see port5).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old French desporter. See also "sport". (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • “If we are to disport ourselves, we will have to make haste,” I say.

    Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor, Vampire Slayer

  • "Revenge" is set in the best neighborhood in the Hamptons, or the producers' notion thereof: a place of gleaming beaches, endless blue skies, mansions where the spoiled rich disport themselves with somebody else's husband or wife.

    The Rich, the Bad, the Vengeful

  • The clerical staff will not disport themselves in raiment of bright colors, nor will they wear hose unless in good repair.

    Workplaces have been worse! | My[confined]Space

  • The clerical staff will not disport themselves in raiment of bright colors, nor will they wear hose unless in good repair. colors?

    Workplaces have been worse! | My[confined]Space

  • On Sunday nights from 10-11 (when I ordered my husband and children to disport themselves elsewhere) you were mine.

    Far From the Madding 'Mad Men' Crowd

  • Far better the swift month of engagement every four years or so which forces all parties into a straitjacket of conciseness and clarity that they would surely eschew if given the luxury of a year and more in which to disport their wares ad infinitum et ad nauseam.

    Archive 2007-10-07

  • Those in Shetland and Orkney Islands who know no better, are persuaded that the seals, or silkies, as they call them, can doff their coverings at times, and disport themselves as men and women.

    The Seal Maiden

  • Even when they were vixens, Renaissance muses were comfortably subordinate to their artists, bound to the latter's aesthetic and sexual needs while the artists were free to disport themselves around town.

    Where Have All the Muses Gone?

  • Such was their disport; and now Gudrun was somewhat solaced of her grief.

    The Story of the Volsungs

  • Then said Brynhild, “Ill to abash folk of their mirth; prithee do not so; let us talk together for our disport of mighty kings and their great deeds.”

    The Story of the Volsungs

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • That broke my heart a little--in a good way. Thanks, oroboros.

    January 20, 2012

  • The following is related by an eminent naturalist: ‘A young lady was sitting in a room adjoining a poultry yard, where chickens, ducks and geese were disporting themselves. A drake came in, approached the lady, seized the bottom of her dress with his beak, and pulled it vigorously. Feeling startled, she repulsed him with her hand. The bird still persisted. Somewhat astonished, she paid some attention to this unaccountable pantomime, and discovered that the drake wished to drag her out of doors. She got up, and he waddled out quietly before her. More and more surprised, she followed him, and he conducted her to the side of a pond where she perceived a duck with its head caught in the opening of a sluice. She hastened to release the poor creature and restored it to the drake, who by loud quackings and beating of his wings testified his joy at the deliverance of his companion.’

    – Ballou’s Monthly Magazine, May 1870 (via futilitycloset.com)

    January 20, 2012